Get Tougher

Switchback roads, 717 miles, from Burma to Southern China, up and down mountain sides, through muddy, monsoon conditions; when big trucks were too big, and the 1/4 ton regular Jeep just wouldn’t do.

From adversity, came a better idea. Nicknamed the Ford Burma Jeep, tougher, more maneuverable, up to 1 1/2 ton hauling capacity, 4WD, with low range.  Some were equipped with 10,000 # front winches.

With dual rear wheels, they were mostly used by the USMC and Navy in the Asian and Pacific theatres.  Fifteen thousand or so were built and few survived.  They were sometimes used as explosive ordnance carriers and wreckers.

Cab seating was spartan, with the passenger seat turned sideways.  That was so the passenger riding shotgun could watch the road and cargo.  The powerplant was a 226 cu. in. six cylinder, with 90 horse power @3400 rpm.

Mileage, by today’s standards was nothing to brag about–9 mpg.  It was able to run on fuel with as little as 7o octane.  Top speed was 45 miles per hour.  For its purpose, there were few roads, on which such speeds could be attained.

It wouldn’t win any stoplight drags.  But, it was what was needed during wartime, on some of the worst road conditions known to mankind.  It’s  homely, but has a certain rugged charm.  I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to take a ride in one.


Author: warturoadam77p

70 year old married retired communications worker with three grown children, transplanted from the Midwest to the sunny Gulf Coast.

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